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For More Information
Call or Visit:
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
of Canada. (2005). Healthy beginnings: The Windsor-Essex County
Your handbook for pregnancy and birth Health Unit
(3rd ed.). Ottawa, ON: Author.

Solchany, J. E. (2001). Promoting maternal

mental health during pregnancy:
519-258-2146 ext. 1350
1005 Ouellette Avenue
Theory, practice, and intervention. Windsor, ON N9A 4J8
Washington: NCAST Publications.
Province of British Columbia. (2005). 519-326-5716 ext. 1350
Baby’s Best Chance: parents handbook 215 Talbot Street East
of pregnancy and baby care. Leamington, ON N8H 3X5
(Rev. 6th ed.)Victoria, BC: Queen’s Printer
of British Columbia. Essex:
519-776-5933 ext. 1350
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2008). 360 Fairview Avenue West, Suite 215
The sensible guide to a healthy Essex, ON N8M 3G4
pregnancy. Ottawa, ON: Author.
Toll Free: 1-800-265-5822 ext. 1350
Wilkerson, N. N., & Shrock, P. (2000).
Sexuality in the perinatal period. E-mail:
In F.H. Nicols, & S.S. Humenick (Eds.), Website:
Childbirth Education: Practice, research,
and theory (2nd ed., pp. 48-65). Parenting Classes and
Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders. Workshops Available!

© Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, May 2008.

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe? What Changes can I Expect Helpful Tips
Throughout my Pregnancy?
Each pregnancy is unique. Speak to your doctor Always communicate feelings and
about the safety of sex during your pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, every woman will desires with your partner.
When could your doctor advise against sex? experience a different level of interest in sex.
• If you have had a miscarriage or pre-term
Continue cuddling and touching
labour or birth First Trimester (Week 0 - 13) throughout your pregnancy to heighten
• If your placenta covers part or all of your cervix Changes which may decrease sexual desire: sensuality and intimacy.
• If your cervix begins to open before full term • Nausea/vomiting • Hormonal changes Try changing positions to see if you can
• If there is a possibility of sexually • Fatigue • Weight gain find one that is more comfortable for you.
transmitted infections (STI) • Sensitive breasts
• If you are carrying more than one baby Things to consider to keep romance alive:
Changes which may increase sexual desire:
• Hormonal changes • Sensitive breasts • Set aside time for intimacy.
Can sex hurt the baby?
• Try using lubricating jelly.
In a normal pregnancy, the fetus is protected by the
Second Trimester (Week 14 - 26) • Create a romantic atmosphere.
mother’s abdominal muscles, amniotic fluid, and the
Changes which may decrease sexual desire: • Try role playing or a fantasy.
mucous plug.
• Pain and discomfort • Try having sex in different rooms of
Can sex cause a miscarriage? • Leaking breast milk (colostrum) your house.
In a normal pregnancy, sex does not cause a • Read romantic books and stories or watch
Changes which may increase sexual desire: films together.
miscarriage. Miscarriage in the first trimester is
• Increased sensitivity and lubrication of vagina. • Try bathing or showering together.
usually due to genetic abnormalities and other
• Increased sensitivity to breasts. • Consider masturbation.
developmental problems with the fetus.
• Feeling of general well-being. • Be creative and respectful.
Call your doctor if you experience: • Try writing love letters to each other.
Third Trimester (Week 27 - 40)
• Contractions that don’t go away.
Changes which may decrease sexual desire: Words of Precaution
• A gush or trickle of fluid or blood from
• Fatigue • Enlarged abdomen • Never blow air into the vagina during oral sex.
your vagina.
• Back pain • Other pain • Take care with sex toys to prevent pain
• A sudden feeling of baby pushing down.
• Concerns about birth or infection.
• An increase in vaginal discharge.
• A feeling that something is wrong. Tips to keep in mind: • Infections can be transmitted during oral sex.
• Avoid lying flat on your back to prevent These include sexually transmitted infections
Is it safe to have orgasms? (STI’s) as well as oral herpes. Dangers of
light-headedness and/or nausea.
Orgasms may cause contractions of the uterus. transmitting herpes to your unborn baby include
• Baby movements might be felt
In a normal pregnancy, orgasms do not lead to neurological damage, mental retardation,
following orgasms.
premature labour. or death.
• The length of the vagina might be shorter near
Speak with your doctor about nipple the end of pregnancy due to “lightening”.
stimulation, orgasms, and using a condom if you
are at high risk for pre-term labour.
It’s ok to say “No” to your partner. Let your
• Stimulation of pregnant woman’s nipples may partner know your comfort level. Your body and
help start contractions and labour. your relationship are going through changes.
• Sperm may soften the cervix which helps
with dilation.